Anushree Reddy’s ‘Gulaal’ collection fused traditional silhouettes with contemporary colours, presenting the best of the old and the new.
Anushree Reddy’s new ‘Gulaal’ collection showcased at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive, is a dream collection for all brides to be. Though the show was all about quintessential traditional Indian bridal wear, and also created a traditional Indian baraat feel with a wedding band and shehnai playing 90s Bollywood music, there was still a touch of modernity and western influence. The latter was spied in the cuts and colours of the outfits, as they boasted hues like navy blue, cherry red and soft pinks, making the collection ideal for new-age brides.
Talking about the collection, the designer says, “My collection is called ‘Gulaal’, and is inspired by the theme of the season, “Blockbuster Brides”, for Lakme Salon. It’s all about the new-age bride: The colours we’ve used are very festive and it’s like a burst of colour. The band is something which I thought would add a fun element and keep people in the groove of the theme.” Explaining the name of her collection, the designer says that gulaal is associated with celebration. “It’s a collection that denotes celebration, so we have gone all out, without inhibition, and in a full-blown celebratory mood. We’re unveiling our bridal look this season and I think ‘Gulaal’ was the perfect name for it,” she avers.
With a theme like ‘Blockbuster Brides’, the collection naturally caters to brides who look at on-screen and real-life Bollywood brides for inspiration. However, the modern-day bride also wants something unique. “Modern brides want the best of both worlds — they want to stay traditional, but they also want to be a little trendy and cool. That is a little challenging to achieve. But that’s what I basically hit out at this season,” Anushree shares.
Apart from the dressy traditional lehenga, Anushree’s collection also comprises silhouettes that draw inspiration from western wedding wear. Explaining the reason behind the same, the designer says: “We went through all the different celebrations of a wedding, starting from the engagement, going into the mehendi and the cocktail, and then the reception. So the dresses and all come into the cocktail vibe, which is what we have catered to with those designs.”
Bollywood star kid Ananya Panday was the showstopper for the evening, and her champagne gold lehenga certainly fits the brief. The 20-year-old was so excited to walk the runway for the first time that she couldn’t stop twirling around. “It was really exciting, but I was so nervous because it was my first time walking. And there are all these rules —‘turn three times’, ‘do this’, ‘do that’ — and I’m like, ‘I don’t know what to do!’ But I think I had so much fun and I couldn’t have asked for two better women to dress me. And I don’t think I’m going to be a bride anytime soon, there’s a very long time for that, but I got to live out my dream today,” the SOTY 2 actress says.
Anushree describes the lehenga she designed for her showstopper, and also the amount of work that went into making it. “What I designed for Ananya is a champagne gold lehenga with lots of katana and pearl. It took about 600 odd man-hours to make and embroider and it’s a new take on the bridal colours; normally I use red but I thought the gold would be a nicer version to it, it’s something very new that I’ve just introduced this season.”
Bridal wear has come a long way, from the traditional red lehenga, we’ve gone on to incorporate pastel colours, experimental necklines and sleeves. Nevertheless, Anushree believes there is still scope to experiment with bridal wear, but one needs to be careful with the colours. “Bridal wear designs can be pushed a lot, but it depends on how well we push it and how well we choose the colour palette. I feel ombres are great, even multi-colours can be great if used well. Like an orange, pink and yellow can be blended, as long as it is aesthetically done. I don’t think a dark colour palate will work, but red, gold and green — these are evergreen bridal colours for the wedding day, she concludes.